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TMPENSIS THOMAS ET WILLIAM BRADFORD, JOHN CONRAD)
THE approbation with which the world has received my little Latin collection of select stories from the Old Testament, has determined me to present it with a second collection from profane authors, together with some of their moral precepts. My design has been, in both, to put into the hands of children, and others that begin to learn the Latin tongue, some little pieces, that might be easy to understand, and at the same time might .improve their morals. No doubt can be made but that the Holy Scriptures afford us those advantages, which is the reason probably, that has induced so many masters, both in a public and private character, to make their scholars read that collection.
That this might, as far as possible, merit the, same esteem, I thought it incumbent on me not to lose sight of those two objects, clearness of thought and expression, and usefulness of matter. With respect to the former, I have been obliged, and especially in the first part, to retrench from the stories and maxims I borrowed the thoughts which were subtile or obscure; to change sometimes expressions which were refined, and too far fetched for children, into others that were more simple; to shorten phrases which were too long: and lastly, paying greater regard to plainness and facility than sound, to place the words in a more natural order; that manner of ranging them, which is so great a beauty to the Latin tongue, being a burden to all who first begin to translate the authors who have written in it. For this reason the reader will find all the words almost of the first chapters of this book placed according to their natural and common construction. When we teach children language, it is sufficient at first to teach them rules, and make them, know words. The time will follow, when they- must attend to elegance. It is not till after the foundations of an edifice have been well laid, that we employ our thoughts about the decorations of the apartments.